Chadwick Boseman married Taylor Simone Ledward before he passed

91st Annual Academy Awards - Red Carpet
It was recently revealed that Chadwick Boseman married his long time girlfriend, jazz singer Taylor Simone Ledward. Boseman kept his cancer diagnosis secretfrom his fans and many of his costars and also kept his romantic relationship under wraps.

In their statement on Chadwick’s private account, Boseman’s family confirmed that he and Ledward married some time before his death. As if his untimely death wasn’t sad enough, learning about this really tore me up. Taylor and Chadwick have been dating since 2015. Here is the little bit we know about their relationship via People:

Ledward and Boseman were first spotted together in 2015, shortly after she graduated from Cal Polytechnic University Pomona, where she majored in music industry studies and served as the lead singer of the school’s jazz band.

Then in January 2019, the couple made their red carpet debut at the Screen Actors Guild Awards when Boseman was nominated for Black Panther. At the 50th NAACP Image Awards, later in 2019, the actor received the outstanding actor in a motion picture award for his starring role in the Marvel film and paid tribute to Ledward in his acceptance speech.

“Simone, you’re with me every day. I have to acknowledge you right now. Love you,” he said. Ledward mouthed back the words, “I love you.”

They got engaged in October 2019, according to PageSix, and made their final appearance together in February at the 2020 NBA All-Star Game in Chicago.

[From People]

I haven’t been this sad about a celebrity death since Prince. I think even more so because Chadwick and I are the same age and he was in the height of his career. The fact that Chadwick wanted to seal his love to his now wife before death is a beautiful gesture. It is also equally as sad because they do not get to spend this life together. I love that she supported him throughout his illness. They had only been dating a year when he got his diagnosis.

Chadwick may have married Taylor before his death because he wanted to make sure she was financially taken care of after his passing. This makes it even more tragic we have lost someone with such a giving spirit. I hope that Taylor and Chadwick’s family feel the love from his many fans and friends. And I hope the many tributes to come, like the one ABC has done with Marvel, will help ease their pain just a bit.

I know a lot of his fans are asking Marvel not to recast the Black Panther with another actor. I agree. He made the role so iconic and I think it is too early to swap out actors. Since there are several story lines for the Black Panther, I am sure Marvel and Disney can find a way to appease the fans. In the meantime, I’ll keep eating cookies and crying into my red wine until this feeling of overwhelming sadness passes. #WakandaForever

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84 Responses to “Chadwick Boseman married Taylor Simone Ledward before he passed”

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  1. Aurora says:

    On the one hand I understand not wanting to re-cast Black Panther but on the other hand, ending the franchise would mean all the black actors that would be potentially employed will be out of work.

    • ennie says:

      true that. I’d go see Shuri as Black Panther , tho.

      • osito says:

        I was just coming to here to say this: There are lots of opportunities to tell stories featuring Shuri and the Dora Milaje, and Lupita’s character whose name is unfortunately escaping me. I would love that for Boseman’s “Panther” legacy, and just for story purposes, in general.

      • Anna says:

        That’s a wonderful idea. Very powerful. Carrying on the legacy of her brother. It would sidestep the issue of recasting him and allow a new, femme-focused angle.
        Sigh…so so so heartbroken. I’m trying to channel my sadness into doing the things I’ve been dreaming of and not second-guessing myself (including taking care of health concerns). Tomorrow is not promised. Rest in Power, Chadwick.

      • Oya says:

        exactly what I was saying. There are so many story lines that can be used that doesn’t require a new actor to take on the role as BP. I am all for Shuri as BP. In fact that is one of the story lines from the comics.

      • Elizabeth says:

        I would also like to see Shuri as Black Panther. And if T’Challa married Nakia, she could be pregnant with his child. I can’t imagine how they would explain his death in universe, though.

      • Grant says:

        Lupita’s character in BP is Nakea and she is fantastic. I would love the movie to follow the comics and cast Shuri as BP. Technically I think it should be her as she is next in line to the Wakandan throne.

        Can’t believe we’re even having to have a conversation about this. My heart.

      • Case says:

        Wrong spot!

      • K says:

        As soon as I walked out of the theater having seen Black Panther (despite really appreciating Chadwick’s work, and I wish he was still with us to play him again), I couldn’t shut up about the smart, funny and strong female characters like Shuri, and thought, “she better take over the mantle one day.” (Btw, I say this as a white woman… we ALL need to see more black heroes in media, male or female!)

        So I can see it happening that the character T’Challa passes in the films to let Shuri become queen / a female Black Panther.

    • Anners says:

      From what I understand, people are asking that the character T’Challa not be recast. There could be other Black Panthers (Shuri, Nakia, M’Baku, etc) which would allow for the story to continue, just without Chadwick’s character. He was so perfect in that role – I understand feeling he is irreplaceable.

      • TQ says:

        This. Totally agree. Can’t recast T’Challa but others can take up the mantel of the Black Panther.

      • Sarah says:

        That’s exactly what I feel, write T’Challa out as a way of paying tribute to Chadwick and bring in a new Black Panther. That’s part of the story, he became the Black Panther and someone else can take on that responsibility to protect Wakanda/the world. Does there have to be a king? Could Shuri become queen instead? Maybe M’Baku becomes the Black Panther.

      • Elizabeth says:

        I hope they don’t use some kind of weird CGI to have him “there” for any future Black Panther story lines.

      • Anony83 says:

        Agreed, people aren’t advocating the end of Black Panther but more like a James Bond-ish approach and have M’Baku or Shuri step into the Black Panther title.

        Though unlike James Bond they wouldn’t use the same name but you get the idea.

        (How dare my mind and or spell-check, I’m not sure who, substitute Siri for Shuri.)

    • Mia4s says:

      They can have other characters take up the mantel of Black Panther as happened in the comics…but I think they need to wait. The sequel was scheduled for 2022. That’s just way too soon and it would be more about his absence than a new character rising. That would be so difficult for and unfair to the actor put in that spot. Let people grieve the actual Chadwick and in a few years, that legacy can continue in a new way.

      • Aud says:

        Based on what has been said, the BP2 script has been written based on Chadwick returning. I can’t see 2022 happening because the script is likely trash now.

      • Anony83 says:

        All of the MCU release dates are trash now if they weren’t in the can before COVID. 2022 isn’t happening – there wasn’t even a final script.

        But, franchises have handled this recently, Star Wars with Leia dying stands out. There’s ways to do it that could be cathartic for fans rather than just too soon, but in reality these movies take a long time to film and if they hadn’t started before the shut-down, their release dates are meaningless.

      • Mia4s says:

        Yeah having now read Ryan Coogler’s statement (which was beautiful!) it’s clear anything is a long way off, even given practical considerations of the pandemic.

        On a side note; since he was writing it as a straight sequel, it is clear now Ryan Coogler even didn’t know?! I honestly thought that for insurance reasons there had to be some knowledge of this at the studio level. But perhaps not. I had always heard lead actors are required to undergo physicals. Obviously not the important point right now but I am honestly really surprised.

        I think there will be an important conversation to be had about how illness and disability are handled. Privacy is one thing and very important, but I’m getting the feeling this poor man felt to an extent he had to hide it. That’s very troubling.

      • Aud says:

        They likely knew that about the stage 3 diagnosis but assumed he was young and healthy and would get through it. The 5 year survival rate for stage 3 is decently high. It seems almost nobody was told when his cancer advanced to stage 4 and the decline seems to have been very fast. Poor Chadwick.

    • Sue M says:

      I am gutted by Chadwick Boseman’s passing. I am an old white gal from Canada, so that shows the power of his personality and his talent. They absolutely should not recast him with another actor. Chadwick was just wonderful in that role and it would be inconceivable to replace him. In the comics, Shuri does become the Black Panther. So that is a possibility for the movie franchise. Another character that could take on Black Panther, is his girlfriend Nakia, played by Lupita Nyong’o. Or Okoye, the head of the King’s guard, played by Danai Gurira. Also, the rival leader, M’Baku. In the comics he becomes a villain, though. So they have 3-4 good options. There has been some talk about bringing back Killmonger to again become the Black Panther. But his story and death were so narratively perfect, I really hope they don’t do that.

  2. Darla says:

    She’s very beautiful. I don’t feel they can recast T’Challa. But they have built a world that is important to a lot of underrepresented people. I believe there will be a new Black Panther. They will find a way to honor Chadwick’s T’Challa, but they cannot recast that role, that would be…that just would not be right.

    Anyway, it will be years off, and right now I can’t imagine Black Panther 2 without Chadwick Boseman and his T’Challa. It’s best that we’ll put some time between this wrenching loss and any 2nd BP film.

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      Yeah they can’t recast it – its too iconic and he made it his own. They might write his death into the plot and create a new character to become the new Black Panther and King.

      This is a franchise that has the potential to be up there with Star Wars etc.. in terms of impact esp in these times of BLM and the race riots happening right now in the US.

      If Marvel do it right – it can carry on.

    • Becks1 says:

      Agreed with everything you said. They cant recast T’Challa, and I don’t think they will. But I think Disney/Marvel can (and will) continue the story, but I imagine not right away. I agree that they will put some time between his death and the second movie, so it doesn’t feel like they are rushing to replace Chadwick Boseman.

  3. Lightpurple says:

    My heart goes out to her, such a loss.

    • NatureLover says:

      @ Lightpurple, Mine as well, and his parents and siblings. I could not imagine a greater loss than a spouse or child. Chadwick was an exceptional human being and a tremendously talented actor. I hope that Disney/Marvel do him justice and not recast him. Chadwick made T’Challa what he was, the king he was, and the tribal chief he was. Any other actor would not be able to fill his shoes.
      Also, the greatness that Boseman gave that movie is irreplaceable and the impact of The Black Panther not only the presence of a magnificent film, but the fact that it was loved by everyone. Most importantly, the strength that it gave to young children that are POC to see a major motion picture with a hero that looked like them and held the greatness of not only his greatness but his ability to be a great man with a tribe of people that respected and loved him. I saw on the news where he had been a guest and they had children that were African American and they spoke of such an impact to see a cast of entirely African American actors that they too could be up on the screen one day. It gave them hope for not only one day of being an athlete, but being an actor! It’s sad that many children who grow up as an African American child, that they only see an option of escaping their circumstances to be an athlete. We need more public representation of POC in all walks of life being lifted with greater exposure.

  4. Sierra says:

    He was such a wonderful man…

    They shouldn’t cast another male actor and instead turn his sister into the next Black Panther. She is of royal blood so it makes sense.

    • indywom says:

      And a Black woman to boot.

    • Lucy2 says:

      I agree, anything other than that would be a mistake. That is the best thing to do for everyone.

    • pk says:

      I agree…make the sister the next Black Panther. She was amazing in the movie !

      • Noki says:

        In the comic books Shuri does eventualy become black panther so it makes sense.

      • pk says:

        @ Noki

        Oh wow really? Thanks for the info ! That would be an amazing movie !

      • Reece says:

        I was about to say the same thing.

      • NatureLover says:

        @ Noki, thank you for the important information!!

      • Liz version 700 says:

        In a way, having his sister take the mantle would be so timely. Finally, after hundreds of years of sacrifice black women are being recognized for their part in holding families and communities of color and communities in general together. It would be nice to see that reinforced in how this series moves forward. But loosing Chadwick is still just gutting

  5. Moxylady says:

    I think that they have to put the king to rest. In the movie. Maybe he died in the fight with thanos? But his death needs to be acknowledged.
    There can be another black panther. There always has been. His father was the panther, then him. There is always a defender of wakanda. And wakanda needs one more than ever.
    Maybe the next one is elected?

  6. tiglilly says:

    This loss is so tragic and it makes me so sad. I lost my dad to complications from colon cancer.
    However, if in any other case, a 38-year-old starting to date 23-year-old would definitely be given a side-eye.

    • VS says:

      She was 23 in 2015? wow she looks so much older….

    • Léna says:

      They both don’t look their ages weirdly

    • Sandii says:

      I was just also doing the math in my head when I read she just finished school. He seemed to be a lovley guy, but yes…. side-eye from me. (To be honest I always was shocked about his age because he looked so much younger).

    • KK2 says:

      The age gap is just a moot point under this scenario- but in better times, yea it makes me feel a little weird. Not because she isn’t an adult, but there is a big power differential plus the gap. But I’ve never heard anything negative about him to make me think he mistreated women in any way or had a pattern of dating much younger women. And obviously it doesn’t matter now.

      I do think the age gap + the terminal illness is a LOT for someone in their early 20s to handle (the terminal illness is a lot for anyone to handle but especially at that age). I hope she is doing ok. I can’t imagine what she has been through over the past 4 years. Everything about this is so sad.

    • M.A.F. says:

      Do we know for sure she was 23? She could have been older going to college, it does happen.

    • NatureLover says:

      @ tiglilly, she was a graduate of Poly/Tech! Imagine the great amount of maturity not only from her alma-mater, but she was also a lead singer of the school jazz band. There are many of us that must grow up faster due to our upbringing, myself included. We may be of a certain physical age, but we are of an entirely different metal age.

  7. Melissa says:

    Hopefully they can do something similar to what they did with General Leia in the last Star Wars- use outtakes to give him a presence in the next movie while they pass the torch to a new Black Panther. God, what a tragic loss.

    • Mia4s says:

      “ do something similar to what they did with General Leia in the last Star Wars”

      Oh God please no, that was awful. So weirdly detached and uncomfortable. I worshipped Carrie Fisher since I was five years old, but I hated the way they “brought her back”.

  8. Gorls says:

    ..I don’t see an issue with their age gap. Both adults.

  9. Boo says:

    This celebrity death is hitting me hard too. He seemed a very positive and selfless person and it’s such a sad loss.

  10. Aud says:

    I’ve never cried over a celebrity death before but this has me devastated. He was such an amazing human being and meant so much to the black community.

    His role cannot be re-cast. I wish Michael B Jordan’s character never died because I love him as an actor. But nobody could fill Boseman’s shoes in that specific role. He made that character, you can see so much of him as a person in T’Challa.

  11. Darla says:

    Listen, I side eye Pitt and Leo yes. Oh and Dennis Quad. But when I was 23 I always dated guys in their 30’s. Throughout my 20’s I did. Do you have any idea how immature the average 20 something male is? omg. Undateable! If you have a brain in your head when you’re 20 something, and I did, they are undateable. Sure there are exceptions, I dated a couple. But, for the most part…men in their 30’s are the ideal age. 30’s to early 40’s, and I still think that and I’m 50. After early 40’s men go downhill and fast. Women age so much better all around, not just looks. But with having more active lifestyles too. So no, I do NOT side eye this relationship one bit.

    • MF1 says:

      Totally agree! Women age better and are often more mature. Plus how many women in their 20s would not do a double take when Chadwick Boseman walked by? He was incredibly handsome man and, more importantly, was a genuinely good person by all accounts. It’s easy to imagine why Simone fell in love with him.

    • lucy2 says:

      I don’t see an issue with it either. It’s a bit of an age difference, but she was a grown adult well into her 20s and he was mid 30s when they met, not a big deal at all.

      I’m glad they had several years together, and I imagine she was incredibly supportive of him through his cancer battle. I’m glad they got married before he passed.

  12. Nina Simone says:

    Such a stand up guy. He will he so missed. My love to his family, if I’m so broken hearted like this as a fan, I can’t imagine what they are going through

  13. TheOriginalMia says:

    This death hit me as hard as Prince and Carrie Fisher. Just devastated. Haven’t been able to watch Black Panther. It’s just too soon for me. I watched the ABC Special last night and it brought me to tears. He was such a good man and so talented. He was the Denzel of his generation. He would have gone on to do more great things. He will be sorely missed. I feel horrible for his wife and family. I’m praying for them.

  14. pk says:

    This one hurts for many. He was so talented, humble, and kind. It’s so hard to understand how he was able to keep making movies for us to enjoy while silently battling something so awful. What a selfless person he was.

  15. ab says:

    The tribute on ABC last night was really moving. And I hadn’t seen Black Panther since it was in theaters, it’s such a great film. What an incredible loss.

  16. osito says:

    I was surprised by how much Chadwick Boseman’s death has affected me. I’ve been a bit tuned out for a few weeks now while trying to function through the stress and terror of 2020, and the news of this passing made me pause. Then reading more about how humble and kind he was, listening to him speak, watching and remembering children’s reaction to seeing the Black Panther film for the first time — I cried real tears on Saturday morning, thinking about how selfless and strong this man was.

    My heart breaks for his wife and his family. I hope they find comfort and peace.

  17. StephB says:

    I think life just feels so fragile and unsafe for black men right now. Losing Chad, a man that showed the dignity of blackness, is so hard and devastating.

  18. LW says:

    I agree they shouldn’t recast T’Challa, but Black Panther already has a really moving (In my opinion) way to honor former black panthers/pass the torch built in to how the new Black Panther is crowned. The herb and being buried, etc. they could do something really beautiful with a new Panther meeting T’Challa in the other realm.

    • Imogene says:

      I forgot about that scene – I agree, LW, I feel like there is a lot they could do with that. It will certainly be emotional.

  19. SJR says:

    I’m glad he had someone he loved. Someone who stood by him as he went thru treatment.
    Surely he wanted her to have legal rights as his wife.

  20. guilty pleasures says:

    This touched me personally right in the middle of my heart. My beloved passed after a 4 year battle with cancer. We had talked about getting married for years prior, we just never felt any pressure. When he got sick he wanted to wait until he got well (he just would not accept a terminal diagnosis, he fought hard!). He continued to get more and more ill- until it was too late. I would have married him at his very last minute, but it was not possible anymore.
    May Chadwick live on in the hearts of Taylor, all of his loved ones, and those of us who admire him.

    • Imogene says:

      I am so sorry for your loss. That brought me to tears.

    • Christin says:

      I am so sorry. Time is so valuable and never guaranteed. Your post is a poignant reminder of that.

      Sometimes those who bring the most to our lives receive the least time with us, too.

      • guilty pleasures says:

        @ Imogene and Christin, thank you for your kind words. I did learn a lot from that time. I learned that when you know your time has an imminent end you don’t worry about things like his socks on the floor, or dishes in the sink, or his not listening to something I was trying to say. We learned to love in the moment, every moment, that fights are a waste of time, that moments are so very precious. We recognized when something was happening for the last time…
        I learned that when your partner dies they die ‘perfect.’ I have forgotten anything about him that used to aggravate me. I can’t say the same about my ex-husband. Just a weird thought…

      • Christin says:

        @guilty pleasures – Wishing you much comfort and peace.

        Your comments really hit home the life lessons of love and loss. It’s reminded me of one of my observations from sudden losses – Treat every conversation as if it may be the last one with that person. I lose sight of that in the distractions of daily living.

  21. Valiantly Varnished says:

    When Black Panther 2 was announced it was hinted at the the story would follow the conics and have T’Challa pass the mantle to Shuri. I do believe that Marvel knew of his illness – they had to for insurance purposes. So it makes a lot of sense now why they opted to go with that storyline.

    Ive been in such shock since Friday. I wasn’t a huge Chadwick Boseman fan – I think he was a wonderful actor and man but I didn’t follow him or his career that closely. But this hit me like a ton of bricks. The sadness and loss of him for our community and what he meant to the community is deep.

    • Veronica S. says:

      Yeah, Marvel’s in a tough spot here because the character will clearly need to be retired out of respect, but the movie’s cultural importance for a lot of people is impossible to ignore. I hope they handle any potential plotline and recasting with a certain amount of delicacy and gravitas.

  22. Dee Kay says:

    Shuri would be a fantastic next Black Panther, and with T’Challa gone, she would also be Queen of Wakanda (as T’Challa was King). But what if somehow Shuri and T’Challa had decided to keep Killmonger alive, and he reformed and became the next Black Panther? I think Michael B. Jordan, a star in his own right, would be a terrific lead for the franchise going forward.

    Still crying over the loss of Boseman. Forever King.

    • Aud says:

      I love Michael B Jordan. When black panther was first announced, I was very out of touch with marvel and saw a magazine cover and thought MBJ was for sure cast as black panther. I was a little disappointed when I found he wasn’t (only until I saw Civil War, Chadwick was absolutely the perfect choice).

      I would like to see MBJ’s character possibly revived like Bucky.

    • Nina says:

      Having the conversation re: what’s next for BP in the MCU seems ghoulish in general (even though it’s certainly on a lot of people’s minds) right now, but if there’s a new BP, I’d much rather see the title go to Shuri than to Killmonger. It’s a better fit in-universe given how much Shuri and her brother loved each other. Shuri is T’Challa’s sister, so she should be the next in line for the throne, anyway. The idea that the MCU would ignore that and contrive a story where Killmonger actually didn’t die just so another guy could take on the title would be pretty tacky. Plus, Shuri becoming BP would increase the female presence in the MCU. With Black Widow gone, the only leading female character in the MCU is Captain Marvel. Scarlet Witch, Wasp, the female Guardians, Valkyrie, Okoye, Nakia, etc. are all supporting characters, wonderful as they are. Ugh, I still feel icky thinking about this…

      By all accounts Boseman seemed like a lovely human being, and I was gutted when I heard the news of his passing. I’d been a fan of his since 42, and I was absolutely stoked when it was announced that he’d be playing BP. And in his relatively short career to have made the impact he made, especially on so many young people, is nothing short of incredible. It’s all just so unfair.

  23. Veronica S. says:

    Probably as much for the legal rights as them being in love, to be honest. As a spouse, she’d have visitation and accessibility rights she wouldn’t have as a girlfriend, not to mention domestic financial protections under the law. Age difference is interesting, though. I have to give her credit for sticking through that with him. A lot of people don’t expect an older partner who is only 38 to enter a medical nightmare a year in. I’m not sure I was mature enough to handle that at her age, so kudos.

  24. Jill says:

    I love the idea of Shuri as the Black Panther. Fanbois heads might explode, but I DON’T CARE. I am surprised by how hard this one hit me. I have 2 Black sons and my youngest was a HUGE Marvel fan. Chadwick Boseman changed the landscape for what my boys will see reflected back at them. He seems to have been an exceptional person. And I may give Chadwick a bit of a side eye at dating a woman right out of college, but at this point… I hope she has the right support as well as the legal protection as his spouse to deal with the estate and the legacy of his work. Wakanda Forever.

  25. Case says:

    I absolutely want Shuri to be Black Panther now. I sincerely hope they do not recast T’Challa, but instead take the story in a different direction. There are so many great characters in Black Panther.

    I’m still slightly offended that there have been TWO movies with the Joker since Heath Ledger passed away, when there are so many other Batman villains to choose from. It just felt disrespectful to me to not let his performance linger longer (hell, another actor has already won an Academy Award for playing the Joker). It’s a big no from me for recasting Chadwick’s character. Respect his performance and leave it be by using the characters we have left.

  26. BC says:

    Ok im a bit of an Astrology freak and Chadwick being a fellow Sagittarian, i wanted to see if he and i shared any ‘life patterns’ on the pattern app. We dont but guess what his leading pattern is: “Empathetic and deep’ followed by ‘Ambitious and free spirited’… truly him. I fell for him because of his regal confidence on screen whilst off screen it was his calm swag, in depth and well thought out responses in interviews and his empathy which was just oozing out of him; if you check his insta, you can see he was so intentional about where he put his time. Some might say oh well he knew his time was limited but do you know how hard it is to change and adapt a new persona or new habits even with a deadly diagnosis? This was Chad through and through. I will miss his laugh.

    I pray for his girl. Lipstick alley dissed her saying she was a hanger on. As a fan, i dont recall where i stood on that argument. I was just ok fantasizing about him with me lol. But its a lesson to be kind, not just because we dont know what battles some are fighting but most importantly because it reflects on who we are at the end of the day.

  27. Clueless9x9 says:

    I would wait and allow Chad’s love ones to mourn his death and then contact them in two years to see if they’re okay with another black actor taking on the role. Right now, it is way too soon to even think about another Black Panther movie without Chad.

  28. chitowngal says:

    I’m glad they got married. I see it as a wonderfully positive gesture in the face of something that’s the complete opposite and a smart move. I was shocked to hear of his death and saddened that his life was cut short. I was really hoping for a sequel to ‘Black Panther’ strictly so it would become a franchise and he could the ‘Robert Downey, Jr.’ package while proving all the execs who said a black-led superhero movie wouldn’t succeed, wrong.

  29. Gigi says:

    So he was seriously ill for the majority of their relationship. How heartbreaking.

  30. The Other Katherine says:

    They were so wise to get married, to ensure that legal and financial issues would be taken care of as seamlessly as possible. No doubt it made handling end-of-life decisions much more straightforward as well. I am deeply sad and sorry for her loss. He was such a shining light and should have had so many more years with everyone. He clearly loved her a lot. RIP, Mr. Boseman.